Minister Noda attends Memorial Service for former PoW Willam Rose


29 January 2011

Mr William Rose (3rd from Left) and his family. Photo: Rose Family.


On behalf of Ambassador Keiichi Hayashi and our Embassy staff, Minister Hitoshi Noda attended the memorial service on 29 January at St Peter��s Church, Bridge, Kent, and the subsequent reception in commemoration of the late Mr William Rose, who had passed away at his home in Bridge on 27 December 2010, at the age of 98. Mr Rose, who was a former prisoner of war (PoW) in Japan between 1942 and 1945, took part in a visit to Japan in 1999 for former prisoners of war, under the Japan-UK Peace Exchange Programme in collaboration with Mrs Keiko Holmes. He travelled to Japan again in 2003 with his family to visit the villages where he had been held during the war. Mr Rose and his family were deeply engaged in a number of reconciliation activities, including the annual reconciliation reception held at the Embassy and the reconciliation service at Canterbury Cathedral.

The memorial service was organised by the Rose family, and nearly 200 guests spanning the generations and from the local area as well as overseas were in attendance. During the service, participants including the Rose family themselves, the Bridge Church Choir and Minister Noda spoke of their memories of Mr Rose and shared their thoughts on Mr Rose��s great contribution to his family, the local community and the promotion of lasting reconciliation and friendship between the UK and Japan. In his speech, Minister Noda emphasised how much Mr Rose and his family��s dedication to the cause of reconciliation has meant to the Japanese people. Minister Noda also thanked the Rose family for inviting representatives from the Embassy to the service, and for their tremendous understanding and support for Mr Rose in his work for reconciliation. In conclusion, Minister Noda reiterated that future and younger generations should bear responsibility for building upon Mr Rose��s commitment to ensure everlasting peace and friendship.

Following the service, there was a reception organised by the Rose family at a nearby primary school at which Mr Rose had played a key role in facilitating exchange programmes with Japan. Minister Noda joined other participants at the reception to remember Mr Rose��s dedication to furthering friendship between the local and Japanese communities.


Minister Noda delivering his speech at the Memorial Service. Photo: Rose Family


Mr Graham Rose, a son of Mr William Rose, and his Japanese wife, Takako speaking at the reception following the memorial service. Photo: Rose Family

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